Gold jewelry comes in various forms, each with its own unique qualities and characteristics. Understanding the differences between gold-plated, gold vermeil, gold-filled, and solid gold jewelry is essential when making a purchase. In this guide, we will explore these types of gold jewelry, helping you make an informed decision and get the best value for your money!
What Is Flash Plated Jewelry?
Flash plated jewelry is a low-quality option that involves adhering a super-thin layer of gold to a base metal through electroplating. While the process is similar to gold vermeil, flash plated pieces are made quickly, resulting in a very thin layer of gold. Because of this, flash plated jewelry is inexpensive and not designed to last. You can expect the color to fade quickly and the piece to deteriorate after just a few wears. Flash plated jewelry is commonly found at fast fashion outlets and costume stores, but it is not recommended for those looking for high-quality, long-lasting pieces.
What Is Gold Plated Jewelry?
Gold plated jewelry is another affordable option that uses electroplating to cover the base metal with a layer of gold. While similar to flash plating, gold plated jewelry is of higher quality and will last longer. Typically, copper and brass are used as the base metals, though sterling silver can also be used. Gold plated jewelry should have a minimum of 0.5 microns of gold adhered to the surface, but the thickness can vary. On average, you can expect gold plated pieces to last for about a year with regular use. Gold plated jewelry is commonly found at mid-tier department store brands and independent brands.
What Is Gold-Filled Jewelry?
Gold-filled jewelry is a mid-range option that involves mechanically adhering a layer of gold to the base metal through soldering or welding. This process is more expensive and regulated compared to gold plating. The gold used must be at least 10k, making up at least 5% of the weight of the entire piece. The thickness of the gold layer depends on the weight of the base metal, but it is generally quite thick. Gold-filled jewelry is a good choice for those looking for long-lasting pieces, as it can withstand regular use. However, keep in mind that the majority of the piece is not gold and may not hold much value.
What Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry?
Gold vermeil is a high-quality type of gold jewelry that uses sterling silver as the base metal and has a thick layer of gold plating. This term is regulated, with a minimum requirement of 10k gold and a plating thickness of at least 2.5 microns in the US (1 micron in Canada). Gold vermeil jewelry is known for its durability and value. The gold layer in gold vermeil jewelry is five times thicker than gold plated jewelry, making it last significantly longer. Additionally, the sterling silver base metal is hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. Gold vermeil jewelry is commonly offered by high-end clothing and fine jewelry brands, making it a great option for those looking for quality pieces without the price tag of solid gold.
What Is Solid Gold Jewelry?
Solid gold jewelry is made entirely of gold, without any base metal. The karatage, or proportion of gold, determines the value and price of the piece. While pure gold, or 24k gold, is soft and malleable, most solid gold jewelry is alloyed with other metals for durability. Commonly used karatages include 10k, 14k, and 18k, as they offer a balance between color tone and hardness. Solid gold jewelry is the priciest option but is also the most luxurious, long-lasting, and valuable. It is a great investment and can become a cherished family heirloom.
What Is the Best Type of Gold Jewelry to Buy?
Solid gold jewelry is considered the best option for its durability, value retention, and timeless beauty. It is a long-lasting investment that holds its value over time. Gold vermeil jewelry is the next best choice, offering high quality at a more affordable price. While gold plated and flash plated jewelry may be cheaper, they are not designed to last and offer less value for your money.
At Linjer, we believe in delivering excellent product quality and value for money. That’s why we offer true gold vermeil jewelry, made from sterling silver with a thick layer of 22k gold plating. Our gold vermeil pieces are priced competitively and are a better quality option compared to lower-quality flash plated or gold plated jewelry. We are committed to helping you make the right choice for your jewelry collection, both for your satisfaction and for the environment.
Experience the beauty and quality of gold jewelry with Linjer!